Teaching with elementsdb

Over three years we taught the theory of and applications for elementsdb in courses in landscape architecture, urban design, planning, environmental design and agro-ecology. We concurrently improved the content, interface and added tutorials.

“Engaging students with the environmental dimensions of urban design via the web” applied, evaluated, and expanded elementsdb in courses and design studios at UBC. Through this resource, students were introduced to rigorous digital design precedents, through an interface that is interactive and models that can be manipulated. elementsdb helped students to attain literacy and familiarity with abstract, empirical and three-dimensional information about the forms and systems that make up cities.

Through this project, we also added tutorials, refined protocols for students to create cases, and added building energy content to elementsdb. We trained faculty /teaching assistant (TA) teams to use elementsdb in their courses to expand students knowledge base about the form and metrics of urban sustainability. Students themselves engaged in critical cross-disciplinary consideration of the complex factors of urban sustainability, and some students assisted with database creation and evaluation.

Project Profile

Sponsor: 2010-2013 UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund
Project team:
Faculty: Cynthia Girling, Maged Senbel, Ronald Kellett, Paula Farrar (UBC Librarian), Kev Madill (UBC Librarian)
Research assistants: Michael van der Laan, Mesa Sheriff, Negin Shakibi, Jeanie Lim, Grant Hainsworth, Nicholas Sinkewicz, James T. White, Phil Riley, Kate Sloan, Annie Jensen, Amy Ashmore
Other teaching faculty: Sarah Church, Virginia Barr, Patrick Condon, Scott Hein, Erick Villagomez
Teaching assistants: Mesa Sheriff, Rebecca Colter, Nicholas Sinkewicz, Laura Kozak